Netflix Inc.’s crackdown on passwords and its new ad-supported service highlight its first earnings report without founder Reed Hastings as chief executive. Freshly minted co-CEO Greg Peters and mainstay Ted Sarandos will face some headwinds as they navigate the purge of shared accounts as well as the rollout of a $6.99-per-month ad-sponsored tier in the U.S. They’re expected to share a progress report when Netflix
reports first-quarter earnings on April 18.
Analysts surveyed by FactSet forecast on average net earnings of $2.88 a share on revenue of $8.17 billion. One area of concern is net subscription additions worldwide. Analysts polled by FactSet model Netflix to add 2.28 million subscribers in the March quarter, far below its usual average. Over the past six years, the company has averaged global paid net additions of 7.1 million for the March quarter, according to Brian J. White of Monness Crespi Hardt. Analysts do expect net subscription additions to jump to 4.3 million in the June quarter. “We believe [first-quarter 2023] results will mark the low point of [fiscal 2023] reflecting the initial impact of password sharing efforts in select markets,” BofA analyst Jessica Reif Ehrlich said in an otherwise recent cheery note that foresees long-term benefits to Netflix’s strategy. Wells Fargo analyst Steven Cahall is similarly keen on Netflix shares over the long haul. The investment bank has forecast improved earnings and a continued rally in its stock as the pas …